I've only just received "Beginning GIMP, From Novice to Professional", but already I find I can't live without it. Just dipping in to a few chapters, it has answered every single question I ever asked (or didn't even know I needed to ask) about this great open-source software.
The book is full of colour examples and screen-shots. Her text is straight to the point and informative from the word go. I can't wait to read the book from cover to cover. Gimp is a great tool and I've used it a lot, but spent many frustrating evenings (and through the night) trying to complete the simplest of tasks. With Akkana Peck's book by my side, I feel confident in tacking even the most taxing graphical task.
Who needs to spend hundreds of quid on Photoshop when you can get Gimp for free? The problems with Gimp are that if you learned Photoshop it can take a while to get used to the quite different Gimp layout, and some features work very differently, and the manual - such as there is one - is in a permanent state of being not quite finished. Peck's book is a simple but thorough guide to the numerous features and formidable power of one of the greatest pieces of free software ever devised. I'll never be nostalgic for Adobe again, since with this book at my side Gimp is no longer scary.
The book takes you at a good pace through most of the features of the Gimp. Very easy to follow, practical examples that you can easily try in the Gimp whilst you are working through the book. Good reference to earlier versions of the Gimp so you can still find things as menu's have changed between the latest version of the Gimp and earlier versions.
It's made be value the Gimp more than I used to and also given me greater confidence to experiment by myself.
This book is easy to read and for someone who knew something but not very much about imaging and image processing it answered loads of questions right away.
The thing that makes this book stand out as an excellent piece of work is that it is written from the perspective of "what do you want to do with your image?", "right, here's how you do it". So many technical manuals tell you _what_ a piece of software does but not _how_ to use the software to achieve to end result that you are after. This author avoids this trap and clearly explains how you set about each task.
It is illustrated in colour, which makes sense for a book about image processing.
Excellent book, the author takes things in a logical sequence, interest is maintained by a fairly light hearted approach without missing essential detail. Would recommend this to anyone wanting to get to grips with the GIMP.
BACKGROUND: My first purchase in this series prior to this one was BEGINNING OPEN OFFICE 3 etc. etc. I found it a real plod! No offence to the author of that book is intended. BEGINNING GIMP etc. etc.,is entirely different. It is interesting and informative, and fun! I will return to this book again and again. I am a newcomer to GIMP. Nothing in this book intimidates me, and that gives me the confidence to want to learn more. Akhana Peck is a very good communicator to a novice like me, she gives me encouragement all the way through her book. That is what I want from a tutorial book, and at last I have it!
For those who use GIMP, this book is so useful, to get the max out of the programme. I have taught myself GIMP, first the basics, through trial and error, then more indepth with this book. Very useful.